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Protesters Arrested Attempting to Seize TPPA

Media Release

Tuesday, 15 September, 2015

Protesters Arrested Attempting to Seize TPPA

Just before 2pm today arrests began of over 15 protesters from citizens group ‘Show Us Ya Text’, while attempting to seize the TPPA outside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Prior to her arrest spokesperson Lizzie Sullivan said "We are here to stand up for our democratic rights to access this document. Police should stand with us and help liberate this document which every New Zealander has the right to see”.

The group had previously announced that if the government did not release the full text of the TPPA by 31 August they would conduct a citizen's search and seizure at the MFAT head office in Wellington.

At 10am today over 100 members of the group gathered outside the MFAT offices and began their search. The “Search and Seizure” team lined up in rows of two and attempted to access the building in what spokesperson Lizzie Sullivan said was “techniques in non-violent civil disobedience”.

For the last 3 hours the “searchers” walked in rows, two by two, and have attempted to move past police and enter the building. After repeated attempts and forceful push back from police, the pairs finished, returning to the back of their line, and allowing another pair to begin.

“With such a large crowd supporting the search, we decided that in the interest of safety we needed to move and block the road after the police refused” Said Sullivan.

Spokesperson Lizzie Sullivan said "We are here to stand up for our democratic rights to access this document. Police should stand with us and help liberate this document which every New Zealander has the right to see”.

“The police response to our action today illustrates the lengths this government will go to in order to hide such important information from the New Zealand public. We as New Zealanders need to stand up for our democratic rights and demand access to these secret texts” said Sullivan.

“But the real issue here isn’t the arrests, or the response of the police. The real issue is the secrecy of the government and the extreme efforts it will go to in order to keep it’s citizens in the dark.”


ENDS.

Note: Arrests are currently underway and will probably go up to 25 or 30 people.

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